Updated: Jan 8
Trade shows can have a huge impact on the success of your company. If you wanna take part in those events, high investment is required as well. To make sure that you will get a good return on your investment, you need to have some clear outbound strategies first. If you are not quite sure about how to make the most out of a trade show, you should check out our other blog article about the 5 Rules of Trade Show Success.
In this article, we will go into detail about the outbound strategies for trade shows which helps to maximize the outcome for your company.
Don’t miss out
Trade shows are a good way for you to meet people in your industry. For example, if you are working in the technology industry, putting yourself out there in a tech show helps you to find clients who are interested in implementing your software solutions. You will also meet other companies with whom you can cooperate with or you will get new inspirations on how to do things differently in the future.
Trade Show and Chill?
After years of attending trade shows, we saw so many empty booths with bored salespersons. This is reality and they are just not using their full potential which the show has to offer. Using efficient outbound strategies for trade shows, you can easily prevent such situations and you will always have people at your booth. That will also attract more people who just walk by because a crowded booth signalizes to others that there is something interesting to discover. Keep on reading and learn about how to prepare a trade show properly.
Victory Loves Preparation
Trade shows normally have an online platform where you get valuable resources from. Most of the people who attend these shows are not aware that the organizer provides every attendee or exhibitor with data beforehand. That data could be the speaker list, the attendees list, or the exhibitor list. This information is valuable like gold for every outreach expert (which you’ll become after reading this article).
Speaker List of NAB Show 2021
Attendees list of NAB Show 2019
Also, there is a lot going on around the events on social media platforms where you can find more data about visitors to the show. Often the shows have their own hashtags (f.e.: #ibc2021) which makes it a lot easier to find your target clients. Additionally, LinkedIn rounds up your name list. Create a list with your target companies and LinkedIn will provide you not only with the name but also with the position in the company of the desired person. Below you will find some examples.
LinkedIn Search Mask
Now you can make use of your name lists by matching them with the according email addresses. Either you search them on your own with tools like hunter.io or you easily outsource it to a freelancing platform like Upwork. At this point, you are all set to build your personalized email templates with outbound systems. We love to use PersistIQ, Outreach.io or Lemlist because it is self-explanatory and easy to use. With the help of this program, you can formulate templates where you insert variables like first_name, last_name, company_name and implement them in your text. You can even use them in your subject line to make your sending even more appealing.
Email Template with Variables
In that way, you automate the sending of up to several hundred emails per day without putting too much time into it. Make sure that your text doesn’t sound like a mass email sending. It should be rather formulated like a normal conversation which you would have with a business partner. Also, you should provide value in your emails to assure that you would get higher opening rates and that you will draw more attention to your sendings. Don’t forget to place a clear Call To Action (CTA) at the end of every mail. Prevent using too much information in one email and rather keep it short and simple with max. 500 characters per email. The recipients normally don’t want to read long emails or they just don’t have the time for that. It’s always a good idea to do so-called drip campaigns where your email campaign consists of five and more steps. Being persistent pays off! In the following, you will see an example of a drip campaign.
When identifying people make also sure there is a legitimate business interest when contacting new prospects.
Drip Campaign in Persist IQ on Event Attendees
Open Rate of 76% and Reply Rate of 30%
Give Me Your Best Opener
Trade shows are not only a great source for getting in contact with your target group, but also a good excuse to contact your prospects beforehand. Asking them if they are attending the trade show is a great way to start your email template and it is a good opener for a warm approach. Furthermore, mentioning the trade show in your templates also increases the awareness for your company attending the show. People would remember your brand and will stop by your booth even if they didn’t actively reply to your outreach. It is always a good idea to implement a link to an informative white paper, which explains your product short and sweet, in your sending. Using outbound strategies to schedule meetings with prospects before the show assures you a certain kind of predictability. The famous law of large numbers can be applied here as well. The more people you will contact, the better end results you will have and the more meetings you will get. Think big!
Feed the funnel, it’s hungry
Gerald showed us his artistic side a couple of years ago and he drew a sales funnel which is displayed in the next figure. You should feed the funnel with different kinds of marketing activities like email campaigns, paid sponsorships, social media advertising, and also various inbound tools. All these created opportunities enter the funnel at the top. We assumed in the figure below that the trade show will have 90.000 visitors and 1.000 speakers. Out of the 90.000 visitors, you might only reach out to 60.000 of them if it would be a perfect world where you have all the contact information of everybody. Then, out of the 60.000 only 2.800 people would be interesting prospects for you and you start to reach out to them. Out of the 2,800 people attending you might get 115 to schedule a meeting with you. In the end, with such an approach you for sure get at least 60 meetings which will also happen. Depending on your email templates and the industry you are in these numbers can vary. But I hope you get the point here. As you see, email outreach is simple math. The more people you will contact, the bigger is the likelihood to get more meetings. And never forget to follow up after the trade show!
Follow-Ups and Personal Automation
The most important step of the whole outbound strategy is the follow-up message after the show. If you do not follow up, all the work you have done until now was for nothing. Following up is especially important for the sales team. They have to qualify the leads now and they have to close the opportunities which were created during the show. You can differentiate two types of follow-up messages: the first type is a standardized one where you follow up with people you met at your booth but they were no potential clients. Usually, you would thank them for coming by. The second type is the potential leads. Here you have to put more effort into it and create a very personal message based on the conversation you had with them. Therefore, it is always a good idea to take notes after every promising conversation or encounter. In the end, the goal is to close these leads and sign big deals. This step of the strategy is actually creating the cash flow.
In conclusion, outreach strategies for events and trade shows are a complex process that starts from finding the right trade show with the perfectly defined target audience, to gathering and collecting the data, to creating personalized and appealing email templates, to doing the outreach and most importantly following up with potential clients. We from Kickscale are more than happy to guide and lead you through this journey to create more outcome together for your company.